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Man who purchased firearms used in San Bernardino terrorist attack is sentenced to 20 years

Kaylee Greenlee, DCNF

A California man was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison for conspiring to commit terror attacks and for providing assault rifles used in the 2015 San Bernardino, California, terrorist attack where 14 people died, the Department of Justice announced Friday.

Enrique Marquez Jr., 28, pleaded guilty to conspiring to provide material support and other resources to terrorists in 2017, according to the Department of Justice. As part of his plea agreement, Marquez also admitted to conspiring with Syed Rizwan Farook to attack commuter traffic on the 91 Freeway and the Riverside Community College campus in 2011 and 2012.

Marquez pleaded guilty to making false statements in connection to purchasing two assault rifles that were used in the San Bernardino attack on Dec. 2, 2015, according to the Justice Department. Farook and his wife used the two assault rifles Marquez “straw” bought for them to attack the San Bernardino Inland Regional Center three years after the purchase, the Justice Department said.

Marquez said Farook paid for the firearms and that they also discussed using radio-controlled improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, according to the Justice Department. Marquez said he purchased a container of smokeless powder and Christmas tree lightbulbs to make the IEDs.

Prosecutors claimed that Marquez “was a full, willing, and motivated participant of the conspiracy who not only provided the agreement necessary for the conspiracy to attack RCC and SR-91, but also co-designed the attacks with Farook,” in a memorandum filed last week, according to the Justice Department.

Marquez “purchased the two firearms and ammunition to facilitate the attacks, researched bomb making and obtained explosive powder and other bomb-making materials, and visited RCC and SR-91 to sketch out how he and Farook would attack the two locations to maximize casualties,” according to the memorandum.

U.S. District Judge Jesus Bernal denied Marquez’s request that he be sentenced to five years, according to the Justice Department. Prosecutors said the request was an effort to “downplay the seriousness of his actions, and skirt that his actions contributed to the mass killing and injuring of innocent people in San Bernardino just a few years later.”

Marquez was arrested and has remained in custody since his initial court appearance on Dec. 17, 2015, according to the DOJ.

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